– Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro released the following statement regarding Friday’s veto of HB 5301 by Governor Rick Scott –
“The Agency for State Technology (AST) is a critical piece to ensuring that Florida’s government engine is well-oiled and moves along smoothly. Florida TaxWatch applauds Governor Scott for vetoing HB 5301 that would have reversed the progress Florida has made in improving its state technology services.
“Before AST came along, Florida’s IT systems were severely disjointed and sub-optimized. In fact, it was so terrible, that it was ranked last of all fifty states and given a D letter grade by The Center for Digital Government (CDG). Florida TaxWatch implored lawmakers to establish a centralized IT agency as part of its numerous cost-savings recommendations. Lawmakers agreed and, in 2014, the AST was created.
“Since the formation of AST, our IT systems have turned around significantly. The CDG graded Florida with a B+ letter grade in 2016 and named it the most improved state. HB 5301 would have reversed this trend.
“Thankfully, the Governor has vetoed this bill and AST can continue to work tirelessly to ensure our IT systems are up-to-date, effective, efficient and most importantly, of minimal cost to the state’s hard-working taxpayers.”